Monday, May 9, 2011

A Day Trip to Smiths Falls (Ontario)

Smiths Falls is one of the most varied and historic towns in Ontario. Located in the exact center of Eastern Ontario, it is the Falls located in the centre of town from which the name was derived.

Smiths Falls history dates from the American Revolutionary War (United Empire Loyalists). In the late 1700's UEL Thomas Smyth received a gift of 400 acres from the Royal Commission. Smyth, as well as other settlers, used the many falls in the region to build sawmills and other water-powered businesses.

Originally named Smyth's Falls in 1784, after Thomas Smyth who died in 1831, the little village began to take shape by 1840.

The Rideau Canal was formerly opened in 1832 after construction was started in 1826. It was the 'greatest engineering feat' of the day, and actually gave birth to Smiths Falls as a settlement.

By 1860 there were apporximately 1,100 inhabitants.

About 1880 Smith's Falls started being written as Smiths Falls without the apostrophe. However, it was not until as late as April 11, 1968, that the name Smiths Falls became official. It took an Act of the Ontario Legislature to officially remove the apostrophe.

Later to become an important railway centre in 1885, Smiths Falls was made the divisional point of the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR). And so by 1886 Smiths Falls was a "boom town" because of the railway.

In the 1890's Smiths Falls claimed to be the world's turkey market centre, including Trukey Fairs.

The 1960's was the turning point in Smiths Falls development; a downturn from which it wouldn't recover until the mid 1990's when it transformed itself into a profitable business and tourist centre.

Today the residents of Smiths Falls are proud of their community and take a very active involvement in its on-going development of industry and tourism.

Currently there are over 9,000 people who live, work and play in Beautiful Smiths Falls.

More to come soon.

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